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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  March 13, 2011 10:00am-11:15am EDT

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just felt something's going to happen, something's going to happen. and i got this call from my dean of the school saying that he had lined up an internship for me. it didn't look good for the university to have one black student who did not have a job. so he worked very hard to make that happen. and can that's how i ended up in -- and that's how i ended up in tuskegee. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. ..
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>> some of you may not believe this but this whole journey started so innocently. i was in july 2008, a correspondent sent me a list of excerpts from the claimed 1995 of barack obama called dreams of my father. i had not read it to that point. i had not been paying that much to the campaign and i found myself stuck in the detroit airport awaiting a flight delay on america's least glamorous flight detroit to buffalo. i went into a bookstore, audacity of hope, dreams of my father. there were obama coffee table book. it was like the obama store and so i bought a copy of dreams for my father and given my bias,
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like an adolescent buying his first copy of the playboy you don't have the national review and the commentary but anyhow, as i started reading the book, first of all i discovered that the excerpts in question were taken out of question. the book is not as radical as it sounds at all. the book was very calculated. the book was not calculated to make president of the united states. the book was calculated to make barack obama the mayor of chicago in which position he would do the world good as president. he presents a world of, you know, psychological and moral problems. as i got into it, just in the way of description, the book is divided into three parts. the first part starts with a section called origin which basically tells his story from the time even when he tracks back to his parents and takes him through his departure from chicago to new york city. the seg is the most longest and
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tedious part of the book is called chicago and it reads like it was written for another book. the third part is kenya. in reading this book it had a comparable to it and i described obama as a combination of seeking a father and the father seeking the homeland. three weeks after i wrote that, the prolific prize whining book critic for the "new york times" writes, this book is a combination of obama as polemic as seeking the father and the father looking for the homeland. and that comes back into play and i'll tell you why in just a little while. now, as i read it, though, what intrigued me about it is that it was the best part of the -- some of it wanders and some of it are
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tedious and some are very well written. when you see his -- what he writes on a sentence by sentence paragraph by paragraph basis he writes extremely well and he's not given credit to that and we have to maintain that obama is the soul author of the book and why we know that's not so but any case as i was reading through the book i was thinking, there are two questions that emerged. these two questions would form the basis of my book. deconstructing obama. the first question is did barack obama write this book? and the second question is, is the story he tells true? and as i would come to discover the answer to both questions is the same and we'll tell you what that is in a little while. i thought when i got into it that everyone would be asking his questions because i've seen barack obama speak and i've seen his interviews.
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i didn't think he had the background to write a book of this quality. and so i went online and i googled, you know, barack obama ghostwriter. i figured there would be plenty people discussing who obama's ghostwriter is instead i got things like unlike john mccain, barack obama did not need a ghostwriter. i thought everyone would be asking these questions but as i discovered, i was the only one asking these questions. this is a weird place to be and i'll tell but. switching gears a little bit, as anyone who has seen me play can attest i'm not a i believe it good golfer. in fact, i would consider myself a double bogey golf.
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where a pro would shoot a 4 i would shoot a 6. so for me, if i ever break 100 it's miller time, you know, it's just something to celebrate. [laughter] >> and there are two reasons i've been able to achieve this level of success one is a lack of natural talent and secondly and i combine that with an absolute failure to practice and the combination together makes me as good a golfer as i am which is 100 plus on the average day. now, to achieve true superiority in any craft take tiger woods it, takes two things. one is an extraordinary natural talent and secondly, a total dedication to your craft. a commitment and a discipline to do the best you can do. in his book the outliers by malcolm gladwell he talks about the 10,000 hour rule. and what they say to achieve mastery of any subject, any
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craft it takes not only a great natural talent but roughly 10,000 hours of practice. gladwell cites the beatles and mozart. 10, 12 hours of practice as a adolescent. you get so good you can break the rules because you know what the rules are. now, in barack obama's case, he skipped about 9900 hours of that process. if you read -- you know, writers are like golfers, they are like musicians. it takes both a natural talent and it takes a lot of hard work and barack obama's case there was, for instance, the case i read summer the biography of christopher hitchens and he writes about himself as a writer from the time of the child he was always writing his struggles, his failures, his breakthroughs, his gifts, you know, the things he lacks, the people he admires.
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another character whose memoir i read this year and everyone in the media should have read and there will be more talk about him before the evening is through is frank marshall davis, the mentor of barack obama when he was in hawaii, he's a member of the communist party usa. he's bornographer and he's an excellent writer. he grew up black in the first half of the century in the central kansas and he suffered more racism. and his book about becoming the writers, his attack of journalitis as he dawes. he goes on to become a very serious poet and a very serious journalist. that's how you get to be good. in barack obama's case, he skipped it all. in the book dreams for my father he mentions his role as a writer only once. he said i made some journal entries and wrote some very bad
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poetry. i'm not going to deny he did that especially the very bad poetry part but that is not a writer make. now, once i was suspicious and i started looking around to see what did obama write that might have knead into print? there wasn't much for a guy this classic great acclaimed memoir. there wasn't much to see. what i did find was one paper that he had -- an article he had written when he was a senior at columbia university called "breaking the war mentality." thematic it's no siller than written by a columbia undergraduate in 1983. it's a disaster. it's an utter, total disaster. this might be excusable, you know, for instance, a year before this they had found barack obama in an indonesian cave being raised by wolves but at this point, he spent the last
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four years in america's best colleges. he was graduating from an ivy league school. the writer we meet as a 21-year-old in 1983 is 90% as good as the writer will be. writing from all levels from high school to graduate school. i would love to say i could pick a sdpud say them as good as they could but i can't. and that's the way it is. this is his signature. this is his dna. in this one essay. 1800 words long he has five sentences in which the noun, the subject does not agree with the verb. [laughter] >> this is an embarrassment to columbia university that they allowed this to be published and went unedited i presume. i presume there'sary for sun dial. my children were writing better than this in grade school seriously and your children were too.
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i'll just read one sentence. here's one sentence from breaking the war mentality. the very real advantages on concentrating on a single issue is leading the national freeze movement to challenge individual missile systems while continuing the broader campaign. this, of course, should read advantages are leading but only if advantages could lead. the whole structure is wrong. the last phrase while continuing the broader campaign just dang helz it doesn't attach anything to anything. this is sentence after sentences like this. there's not a single sentence in the whole essay that has a hint of style or grace or promise that we would see in dreams for my father. five years later in 1988 we see more of obama a second time in print he writes an essay why organize. it goes into a book after alinsky. we see the same problems.
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we see problems and announces and subjects that don't agree. we see these incredible conkey reference like led. here's one facing these realities at least three major strands of earlier movements are apparent. facing these realities modifies nothing. strands do not face reality. there's a whole sentence you sit there and you read -- you know what i had to do i had to go back and make sure i hadn't mistyped them because i couldn't believe they were as bad as they were but they were. in 1990 he wrote an unsigned case note at harvard and it's about -- it's the one time in recent history that democrats have not chosen to expand court rights in this case it was to the unborn. and here's just a classic typical sentence. suits by a fetus against third parties provide an additional deterrent to unwanted intrusions on a woman's bodily integrity.
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if an unborn child could sue the child it would restrict the ability of mothers to kilt unborn child. that's where he was in 1990. that same year barack obama was elected as president of the harvard review which is a popularity contest it's not based on anything else. then in that same year once the story of his winning that presidency makes the "new york times," an agent in new york jane driscoll spots the article, contacts barack obama, arranged for him to put a proposal together, takes the proposal to simon and schuster and they get an advance and 18 months to write his book. see, there's something that she doesn't know and barack obama may not even know about himself is he's not a writer. so what he does is what people duly when they're faced with challenges they can't accomplish he procontrast nates.
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-- procrastinates. he working at a law firm and he's teaching at the university of chicago law school. in the meantime, in this period he meets and matters michelle his wife and they have the social world that would make scarlet o'hara's spin head and all the barbeques and clubs they go to all the time. there's no way to write. he's running out of time. there is no time and yet somehow -- and i'll give you more detail. in 1995, after simon and schuster cancelled his contract after jane driscolls hustles him a smaller lesser account with no time on his schedule at all he manages to sit down and write a 440 page book that "time" magazine will write the best memoir produced by the british politician. they would call obama on this basis of this one book the best writer to occupy the white house
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since abraham lincoln. nine years go by after that. the best writer to occupy the house since abraham lincoln writes only tiny pedestrian columns for the hyde park herald. i read all of them i could not find a single sentence in a lot of them that was even remotely graceful poetic or lyrical. the great writer ever to occupy the white house puts his talent on hold for nine full years and writes pedestrian columns in the hyde park herald and that's it. that's very unusual for a writer. in 2006, he produces audacity of hope and it's well-written and well researched, but it seems to be written in an all together different voice. now, david, and i'll talk about him in a little bit. he's the liberal editor in the new yorker and he's the author of the probably the definitive autobiography called the bridge acknowledges that obama put off writing for a long time.
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he had a two-year by the way massive contract between the time he was elected to the senate and the time he took office. what he did he fired his agent because she would have gotten 15%. the one who stuck with him for the last five years and had attorneys negotiate thelet it would cost jane driscoll $5,000 by the time they were through. and the liberal publisher called obama ruthless which is the story that didn't get much play because he wrote it before the election. what he says obama ran out of time and he wrote the audacity of hope which is well-written and well researched book even though it was seemed like someone else other than dreams in father. he wrote it one chapter a week. that's 50 pages a week. obama writes his first draft longhand. by the way he could only write
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this after a senate day that is filled with so much stuff you couldn't believe anyone else could do anything but fall asleep at the end of that day but he wrote 50 pages a week for the last eight weeks to finish the book and we're supposed to believe that. i get in the book -- and us a dasity of hope i'm not going to concentrate on it tonight. you might say to yourself don't politicians all have ghostwriters most of them do. it's an accepted to camouflage in washington as hair dye. everyone does it. except for barack obama. in july of 2008, he was speaking to a convention of school teachers if virginia and you can see this on youtube. he says i've written two books. and they all applaud and he goes a wink and a nod, i actually wrote them myself. and now they laugh because they think it's a joke. you see republicans can't do it and they're not smart enough to
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write their own books so this becomes the foundational myth of his genius. not only did he write dreams for my father and the audacity of hope but he wrote them himself without help. in this regard, barack obama was the last and greatest in a line of very, very smart scary smart democratic political figures. now, going back a ways just think about this progression. in the '50s we had add lay steven -- adlai stevenson, do you remember his nickname. the nickname because he was so smart. he was preceded by the man who as a senator won a pulitzer prize for his book, profiles in courage. then he was followed by a whole series of smart people. let's see eugene mccarthy, the
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professor. mcgovern who is cerebral and then came a whole string of big brain wonks of michael dukakis and the smartest woman on the planet hillary clinton clinton and rhode scholars and bill bradley. every one of them smart. on the republican side. and i'm going to walk you back through the idiot parade. we start with sarah palin, who can see russia from her house. and this is why -- i googled sarah palin mormoron, i got 8 million hits. [laughter] >> this is an age of civility, can you imagine what it was like before the age of civility? [laughter] >> george bush was the guy who aspired that charming bumper sticker there's a village in texas missing it's idiot. dan quayle couldn't spell potato
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he was so stupid. george bush, sr. was so dense he couldn't confused by scanner. even eisenhower was incoherent and ronald reagan of course in the memorable words was amiable dung. that's the republican side. that's what the media has presented. now, how about if you're a black republican, are you absolved from this? not at all. in fact, you go from being a sacred cow if you're liberal to being hamburger if you're a black conservative. here's what steve croft said to clarence thomas when clarence thomas' book my grandfather's son came out. he was describing thomas what his reputation was in the media circles. a man of little accomplishment, an opportunistic black conservative who sold out his race, joined the republican party and was ultimately regarded with an affirmative
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action appointment to the nation's highest court, a sul inventory intellectual lightweight so insecure he rarely opens his mouth in oral arguments. that's what they told clarence thomas to his face. and david in describing barack obama as an opponent in 2004 senate race he's the smartest guy i've ever spoke to, alan keys, he described him as -- [applause] >> a demagoguic fool. now, david remnick describes obama with brilliance intelligent smart more often in his biography of obama than walter isaacson did the subject of his most recent biography, albert einstein and go back and count them. [laughter] >> i'm not exaggerating. i wish i were.
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now, not everything is as it seems. sarah palin, say what you will, is not the one who's hiding her s.a.t. scores and her college grades. george bush got an mba in harvard before anybody ever heard of the other george bush. his wife is a librarian. dan quayle misspelled potato because the flash card had an ode and he didn't want to embarrass the teacher and george bush got confused of the scanner and no one had seen the scanner before. and dwight iron hour he happened to oversee the most successful f-vacation of military warfare. ronald reagan, after being called an amiable dunce it turns out in 2002 they published a book reagan his own words. he had written his own speeches even before he was president especially in his radio speeches from '75 and '80 when they were
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published they were intelligent and coherent, they were is s see -- systematic. he was no one's dunce. ford probably the best athlete in the white house, all american football player, skier. here's what chevy chase. who was on that first season of "saturday night live" when the campaign against -- between gerald ford and jimmy carter was in progress. here's what chevy chase in i wanted carter in and wanted ford out look we're reaching millions of people every weekend, why not do it, right? do we think tina fey had any honorable motives in her weekly slam of sarah palin? i don't think so. now, the democrats, are they as smart as they appear. let's start with jfk. in 1956, with a little help from joseph kennedy, a lot of help that from joseph kennedy, he won the pulitzer prize from profiles of courage. joe peterson went on mike
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wallace's show on abc and accused ted sorenson of actually writing that book, profiles in courage. what the kennedys had sorenson do being the servile on retrain go under oath and swear he did not write the book. he had been leaking all along that he did write the book and he finally admitted as much in his memoir called counselor. he wrote the book. jfk won a pulitzer prize for a book he did not write. that's not to say he's stupid. it's not to say as stupid. they are not as smart as we'd like to think they are. i mean, for instance, when george bush's s.a.t. scores came out and then they brought out al gore's and john kerry's and they are comparable and they dragged out bill bradley's s.a.t. scores. he was my idol in high school.
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we all thought he had a 485 on his s.a.t.'s and in english. i mean, that's not terrible if you're going to penn valley community college but if you go to princeton that will thaputs you in the bottom where you know % of the class and we had live with the illusion that he was a great scholar. obama is not stupid. i never said he's stupid. he's pretty clever. he ran a great campaign in 2008. he's no more a writer than i am a golfer. so if you see me walking around your neighborhood in a green jacket and i told you i won at the master's -- [laughter] >> be suspicious, okay? and its easier for me to win the master's than it would have been for barack obama to write a literary masterpiece. you can't do that if you're not a writer. just like i really couldn't win the master's no matter how much i practiced.
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i went public first on my suspicions on july 31st. i wrote an article who wrote dreams for my father and at that time, i had no idea. i just knew that there was someone else involved. i just knew barack obama didn't have the writer chops to put that book together. and i follow -- i don't do this for a living so i had to make a living doing other things. i was following some other threads and in early september i picked up a copy of bill ayers memoir fugitive days. no, i had suspicion at all that he was involved with this book. i didn't know much about ayers but i do know his book was reviewed where he says he has no recigarettes in life. on the at least froon the histo of america, the "new york times" reviewed it on september 11, 2001. two hours i'm sure bill ayers is on top of the world. after that he had to hide his head. his book was sunk quickly into obscurity and it has burned.
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gosh, i would have been horrified if i put so much faith in that and that's what happens so i picked up fugitive days and i started reading it. and it's actually -- it's a pretty good book because -- say what you will about bill ayers. he had an eventful age and eventful time and once you get to the heart of the story it's pretty compelling. it's he's a fugitive of justice for 10 years. they're setting up arms and blowing people up. diana houghton gets blown up in a village bomb blast and as i read it i began to see certain patterns and i seem like i've read something. and i have this first eureka moment but it's a stupid eureka moment what i thought, i got it they're both in chicago. they're both kind of radical.
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they have the same ghostwriter. it's on the same left wing poet that's what i figured. i had no idea as ayers as his background as a writer. and here's two things that caught my eye. this first one is from bill ayers book fugitive days. the confrontation and the fish bowl flow like a swollen river into the teaching carrying me along in a cascading water from room to room, hall to hall bouncing off boulders. here's one from barack obama's dreams from my father. i heard all our voices begin to run together, the sound of three generations pummelling over each other like the current of a slow moving stream. my questions like rocks.like water the breaks and rivers separating the currents. not only is the imagery the same, the flowing water bricks and boulders also is the structure. each sentence begins with a standard verb phrase engulfed by
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a series of participles. i'm reading as i said there is something going on here. right? and when i finished reading through the book, when i finished reading fugitive days by the time i realized that ayers had written his own book. in dreams the good voice comes and go. in ayers the book is consistent as it goes and i saw that he has a reputation as a writer. and i looked at his vitae, boy, this guy is a serious editor and writer. he's got to take himself serious. another hyde park radical in chicago he wrote a book called resurrecting empire. do you know how the acknowledgement section starts? quote, first -- this is how it starts. first chronologically and every other way comes bill ayers. bill ayers was his editor-in-chief in hyde book, the guy who helped him put it
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together. that's a service he provided. that's not a crazy guy that bill ayers is actually involved with dreams for my father. another thread that i got involved in was the question of post-modernism and post-modernism is sort of like pornography. it's one of the things that's hard to describe but when you see it you know it. basically it means that you reject like judeo-christian view of the world and you impose your own reality on it and you construct the reality and you impose it on the world. that doesn't sound like it makes much sense but it doesn't but it's there. you can recognize it when you see it. ayers' own memoir is laced with equal or constructed reality and so to his dreams here's what obama says but another part of me knew that what i was telling him was a lie. something i constructed from the scraps of information i picked up from my mother. now, what i'm going to do here i'm going to read a series of
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sequence from one from ayers and excerpt for president obama. this is why a book was so necessary because i can't do this in a thousand words. i need 10, 20,000 words to make my case. ayers, narrative begins with something to say, content receives form. obama i understood that i spent much of my life trying to view stories and plugging in holes and the narrative. ayers it could be useful and corrective to this. obama, truth is the best corrective. ayers the mind works in contradiction and honesty writers to reveal disputes with herself. obama, but i suspect that we can't pretend that the contradictions of our situation don't exist. all we can do is choose. ayers the reader must actually see the struggle. it's a journey not by a forest but by a pilgrim. >> all in all it was an intellectual journey complete
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with maps and strict itinerary. ayers narrow writers strive for a personal signature but must be aware the struggle for honesty is constant. obama i was engaged in a fitful interior struggle. someone -- by the way this is the only post-modern book obama wrote. it shows up in nothing else he ever wrote except for dreams of my father. there's not a word for audacity of my hope or in articles otherwise. and another what i call advanced post-modern slaying as well, for instance, the groove in which they fallen the pose easy they assume and even the stitched together of their lives. they don't repeat themselves earlier and another thing i learned reading fugitive days was that after bill ayers dropped out of his college at the university of michigan, he took a job as a merchant seaman and he traveled the oceans and it was a job that intimidated him and scared him and he admits it and he still has dreams about it, nightmares.
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he hoped he would be a great writer of the sea like joseph conrad and it didn't work out. the language of the sea would forever infect everything he wrote. now, he writes an article on education that perfectly mimics idea for idea both on his ideas on education in the book dreams but i'm not going to go into that here just the title. navigating a restless sea the continuing struggle to achieve a decent education for african-americans in chicago. now, obama is from hawaii. we know that. yet, in the book -- the book is a landlocked book. there aren't two paragraphs in or near the sea. there's no opportunity in obama's book to really write about the sea. the words that i'm going to read for you all appear and usually in metaphorical context or in the middle of chicago or something, okay? here is the following words that are shared between barack
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obama's dreams for my father and bill ayers three books that i've followed. and i'm going to read them quickly, hang on. bug, sinking ships, sea sails oceans captains charts first mates floods shores storms streams wind waves waters anchors barges horizon, fourth moorings tides current voyages, narrow courses, uncertain courses and wobbling, fluttering sinking cascading swimming not tangled boundless uncharted turbulent and murky. i went back and checked my own i wrote a memoir myself and i grew up -- i spent big chunks of my summer each year at the place snooki has made famous, seaside heights. it was a wonderfully obscure place before that in new jersey and i spent a lot more time on boats than barack obama has and i couldn't find three or four of those books in my book. i mean, who uses the word -- and
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here's the one that caught my that's correct and this was the word -- and this was in one of the sentences that was first highlighted as being potentially radical but it was taken out of which can and here's what barack obama says. the notion that for plaque nationalist the steady attack on the white race served as the ballast that could prevent the ideas of personal and communal responsibility from tipping into an ocean of despair. this is pre-google. who uses the word ballast in a sentence unless they really know what they're talking about? i had to look it up. i mean, i know more or less what it means but if i'm writing a sentence with the word ballast in it as a metaphor, i'm looking that up. on september 18th, 2008, i worst went public with this three part history on world net daily called did bill ayers write dreams for my father and i started contacting the computer -- the expert physical computer forensics. everybody told me you got to get these guys if and what they told me and i contacted them without
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any sentence of what their politics this would be. this is going into american university. help me out i'm looking for advice. they said stay away from computer forensics. they're not reliable enough. think polygraphic not dna. and you don't want to get caught doing something where the results aren't justifiable. there have been some great successes in the world of computer forensics but there's -- i talk about this in the book there's some great embarrassments as well so i decided to stay away from that. and then you ask people -- people ask why was this problem can accusation in 2008. . the second thing is that he lied if i were right, if my thesis was correct he lied about his relationship with bill ayers and the third thing if i was right he allows bill ayers sharing ideas, you know, sharing thoughts sharing plans.
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and he had to ask yourself how many dinner parties shah bill ended with a punch line google? where does this begin and where does it end? david remnick says about my theory, if ever proved true or believed to be true among enough voters, it could have been the end of obama's candidacy. i knew that. that's a totally weird feeling. you're like an month and a half out and you have the october surprise in your pocket and no one wants to listen. it's like invading the body snatchers, stop. the aliens are taking over and the people are driving by and on and on. anyhow, i'm going to digress a little bit here. i'm going to go from september 18th, 2008, to december 18, 2009. i just got to throw this in and just to let you know what happened. a year later this is like when my christmas comes earlier and i
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found a pony under my tree. it was a book by christopher anderson called barack and michelle a portrait of an american marriage. this is his 14th celebrity biographer christopher anderson. he had written about his previous book was on dina and christopher reeves. his current book is from kate and william. he writes from the from the gates. his audience is conservative and liberal. hess credential "vanity fair," "time" magazine, et cetera. impeccable reputation for telling the truth and he has no reason to lie about what he discovered. and there's a six-page section in this book on how a hopelessly blocked barack obama deeply in debt having to pay back his advance at michelle's urging turns to his friend and neighbor in hyde park bill ayers to help
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with his book. bill, help out and he brought out his notes in his audiotapes and unfinished manuscript and we need your help and this is what christopher anderson writes. he spends six pages on this obviously that's not done to support me. he has no interest in appealing to my audience. and i read 80 reviews of christopher anderson's book. he's even on chris matthews. of those reviews those who wrote the single most newsworthy part of the book zero. it was at that moment that i knew, i knew. my friend said get your pulitzer prize and i said no it ain't going to happen. zero out of 80 mention it. on september 18th, here's how the internet works. and the people -- you know, they are treating me and they don't understand or appreciate it.
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thomas friedman calls the internet because on "meet the press" and my wife wonders why i don't watch sunday morning tv. an open sewer of untreated, unfiltered information, right? and now if the internet existed in 1933 unlike the closed door information of the "new york times" in 1933 a guy like walter durante may not have been able to bury suppress the story of the six to eightmel that were killed by joseph stalin. in 1957 and "new york times" reporter herbert matthews would not have been able to pass castro as the new george washington but he did. thank you internet. you've changed everything for the better. [applause] >> what happens when a place like world net daily is writing he said -- you can come -- when you put out a new idea you become the source of people with similar thought all across the world. before this is over i would help about a dozen people.
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people from places like australia, south africa, india, switzerland, hawaii and all across the united states. now, my single -- now, for all of that i'm going to to embarrass him when this is over. he's a savvy smart well-written observations from him. hey, did you see this -- here's one you threw by me. he said in bill ayers1993 book to teach these students go down to the hudson river and one kid says to the other, look the river is flowing north and flowing south. another kid says it's flowing north and the teacher explains it's a tidal river this is the one spot on that river where the north flowing tides meet the south flowing hudson river. two years later in dreams for my father, barack obama is at the east river a tidal river that runs parallel to the hudson and he's sitting there and a young
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black boy says mister it seems the river is flowing south but it also seems to be flowing north and then obama says it has to do with the tides, right? this isn't coincidence. this is mr. merchant marine interposing his historic knowledge. now, so i said to ryan, ryan let me use your name. i'd like to give you credit for what you're doing and ryan says after what happened to joe the plumber i don't want anything to do with this. [laughter] >> i heard from that at least a half a dozen people. joe the plumber because -- there was more inquiry into joe the plumber's life that fall by the mainstream media than there was in barack obama's and i'm not exaggerating. one other thing that ryan sent me and this is brilliant. one day he sends me the fbi
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files of diana houghton this was the bill ayers terrorist girlfriend who was killed in a 1970s greenwich bomb blast as well as an aerial shot and an article from that time period about how bill ayers visited diana with his friends in this big country estate four generations. it was filled with books in the carriage house and he says check this out and eck which out what barack obama says in his book. in dreams for my father, 440 pages the story of a young man's coming of age is a multiracial person in america, there are two paragraphs dedicated to his social life. he tells him in retrospect -- he tells him in retrospect his sister about a white woman he met in new york he's now in chicago. this white woman just happened to be the same hair color and eye color as diana houghton and
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lived in a state with trees in the middle and a carriage house he just happened to break up with her and chris tried to find the woman and couldn't and the woman said we haven't seen her or ever saw her. as ryan argues and i think he's correct is that barack obama imported bill ayers girlfriend into the book to give him a love life and otherwise there's no other women until michelle. that's not going to imply anything that he just bill ayers girlfriend. i said i've got to give you credit for this. you're doing too much good stuff and he says, and he said no name. how about your credentials. let me tell people what your credentials are. my credentials will not impress email and he sent me an email which made me proud to be an american. i'm a college dropout. i run a small construction company in the kearney, nebraska and i'm a father of three and he goes and i don't think -- he
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says, i have three children and i don't think i'm going to impress anyone with these credentials. he's right, but what an extraordinary thing he did. when i got in writing the book i said how did you get into this and what happened? and this is what defies those people who hate the internet. i read your first article on first net daily and i wonder if that's true. he said i wonder if that's true so i went -- and found obama's -- bill ayers curriculum veto and i organized his books i started going through his books. now, in the my book deconstructing obama i talk about the fact that the conservative media the human events and national reviews and "new york times" totally turn their back on my. they have literary editors they refuse to help. they send me things like -- the letter -- the email i got from the would you believe standard for -- weekly standard. the length is considerable and cutting would not do it justice.
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also we had a long rather critical piece on obama never trust him ubra. [laughter] >> thomas frank once when he was here in kansas city said i read your ubra. the friendship there and you remember what you should have said a few minutes later walking down the stairs and after thomas frank said i read your ubra. my wife wears the ubra in my family. and i remembered that a few moments later. we have literary editors forget about the "new york times" and "washington post." i don't even have any hope for them but we have literary editors like a place like the national review and human events and weekly standard and they are too busy what ryan geister a college dropout is doing after framing and drywall and taking
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care of his three kids in carney, nebraska. something is wrong with our media. not just the mainstream media either. [applause] >> october 9th rush limbaugh started talking about me on air in my pieces at that point your whole life changes, your phone fills up everything fills up. and then i thought okay this is going to change we're a month how the if weekly standard runs a cover story who wrote dreams for my father we could turn the election. you know, we really could. but then we're kicked in as that country-western song by randy travis, is it still over? are we still through? since my phone still ain't ringing, i assume it still ain't you? [laughter] >> my phone did not ring and it was not the end of the candidacy. i'm going to do five minutes quickly on the second part of the book. that is just the first part of the book the whole detective surge written like a hardy boys
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adventure and it's written to be amusing it's not a dry read. i had up to this point avoided the whole controversy entirely. i had enough controversy. i didn't need to be associated with any of it. and i wasn't looking for the birth certificate i was happy with the s.a.t. schools but jimmy hoffa's body will be unearthed before those are. [laughter] >> anyhow -- one of my correspondents, this guy -- i'll give his name his name is don wilke. this is the kind of guy who participants in it. he said look at the poem pop that obama wrote or had published under his name when he was 19 years old. it was one of two poems that were published in the occidental college review. a friendly review calls it a symbolic description of a tribe of sub-marine primates.
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now, i would argue it's probably the best poem ever written about a tribe of primates. but here it is. this is what obama wrote i have no doubt. under water grottos cave rins filled with apes stepping on the pigs that the apes eat they crunch, okay? that's a 19-year-old's boem. i have no trouble believing that barack obama wrote this. [laughter] >> the other poem that was underground is called pop and the critics are much more kind to that and they all say this is a much more sophisticated poem. i'll read one little section pop takes another shot. he points out the same amber stains on his shorts that i've got on mine and makes me smell his smell coming from me. he switches channels we cite an old pole we read before his mother died stands, shouts and asks for a hug. that's an xherpt re-mecca
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immediate in the new yorker describes the poem as quote a loving if slay jade e ed -- sla jayed poem. it clearly reflects obama's relationship with his grandfather. i could find no mainstream publication that even suggests otherwise. this is how utterly careless these people are in their analysis of obama's life and literary career. why? listen to his line, here's what pop does. he recites an old poem. he wrote before his mother dies. stanley's mother committed suicide when he was 8 years old. frank marshall davis, the poem i referred to earlier with his mother dying he was already a poet of promise at kansas state. a university he loved. this is frank marshall davis
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about whom the poem is written. and now look at the title of the poem. pop. why did not remnick ask, okay, if it's aboutographers -- about pop and as the deeply i got into this, the more i realized that not only was the poem about frank marshall davis but i would say it was at least 90% confidence and i assure you why in the book. the poem is by frank marshall davis. a pattern has started when barack obama was 19 years old. i'm in the going to go into detail here but let me sum this up by saying we know less and i mean this literally about the first three years of obama's life than we know about george washington. david remnick pulls dream of my
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father a mixture of fact, recollection, ininventory -- invention and it's like james frey who was torn to pieces on the oprah winfrey. there's not a villain in barack obama find him an entertaining guy. it's the media the villain and i've studied this history as well of a collapse like this of a mainly establishment like our fourth estate. thanks a lot. we'll take questions. [applause] >> we got microphones to ask questions. it's questions and not political
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statements. >> questions, comments? walk up to the microphone. what i did not mention, of course, and i don't mean to say this vainly but the question -- the audience might be asking what are my credentials for doing this i just want to tell you that and that is and, of course, i'm like 25-year career in publishing and advertising. i looked at the portfolios of at least 1,000 professional writers and that's when i first read dreams. i didn't say two or three that could write that well. i've taught at every level as i mentioned high school to graduate school. i have a ph.d. in american studies with a literature in emphasis and i wrote a book on literary fraud called hoodwinked. this isn't coming new to me but like my man incapable in nebraska you can do good work
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and you don't need credentials to do is it. >> on the malcolm glad well's thesis 10,000 hour once you're 21 that, you know, you're 90% established as a writer but it seems like that people are different. i mean, some people are 21 and they don't progress like that and some people like barack obama they have different experiences, talk to a wide range of people. it seems like they would be constantly deinvolving. -- devolving, something they wrote differently. i don't think he's a writer. i think he wrote two great books what he is he's a very good communicator. he's somebody that communicates better orally than with the written word. but i think -- okay. i'll ask the question. >> i'll use that as your question, that's fine. you answered the first part of it.
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here's the difference and your point is well made maybe it's possible someone could get well better from the time they're 21 to the time they're 33 but what he did not during that 12-year period. he didn't write. so it's if i went from a double bogey golfer at 21 to it is masters at 33 without playing golf. you have to do one or the other. you don't get that much better doing nothing. yes, ma'am. >> yes. jack, i have to tell you that the book -- i hadn't finished but i think it's marvelous but i have to tell you as an english major this lecture has been heaven. for to talk about participles and form. [applause] >> i mean, totally. i hadn't realized how english majors came out and now i'm out
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and proud. [laughter] [applause] >> but i really -- i really wanted to ask you -- i was a little bit late and i don't know if you told the detroit story about the lady who accidentally you encountered in the airport. >> no, i didn't mention it. what happened this was, i think, a moment we all had when i bought the book in the detroit airport i was feeling a little schemish about it and the girl who sold it to me and she was so proud and happy when i was buying this book and i had this illusion, yes, even if barack obama wins there will be -- there will be an upside. the racial cloud will lift and there will be an era of peace and harmony. i really thought that and a lot of people thought it would happen. it didn't happen because i told that story on air once i get called a racist for telling it. or for experienceing it. i don't know which. i got called a racist before i came here tonight. it's unfortunate. i could write all i want to
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write about nancy pelosi or harry reid without problem but this book i know it's coming and it's there. it's unfortunate and it shouldn't have happened but thanks a lot, cathy, i appreciate it. >> thank you. [applause] >> you mentioned that bill ayers is part of the extremist who was the also teaching in the university of chicago. my question is, since the last two years we have seen behavior by obama that he's very anti-israel, very confrontational and very pro-palestine. my question is, what was the relationship with chief khalid and bill ayers and president obama? >> the answer is -- in 2008, the "los angeles times" add videotape of -- i think it was
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rasheed khalid his going away dinner in chicago. and they talked about it and the article is headlined obama, a friend of the palestinian state? but they would not share the contents of that video. we know they were talking about the -- they were making references to israelis as nazi and this is a new holocaust and this, that and the other thing but the "new york times" -- the english times would not share that videotape with anyone. the mccain campaign said hey, this is news. you have an obligation to share it and they did not. we do know obama got up and thanked khalid the time they shared together so -- the problem with barack obama is that there's so much we don't know. even today. but it's a good question and i assume that comes from steve also said accident. [laughter] >> thank you. i appreciate it. [applause] >> yes, sir? >> jack, i mentioned right
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before the last campaign you came out publicly with this and you thought it was going to potentially be kind of the end to obama's campaign. now, that your book out, do you see this having a bigger impact and/or why do you think you're not getting much traction with the conservative media? >> well, you know, right now it's interesting what happened in the last couple days the book came out two years ago and it's a grassroots sensation right now. and my publisher -- i'm getting email where are these sales coming from? they don't know but i know we know they come from the blogosphere and they come from talk radio. however, i was in cpac to try to knock down that wall, you know, tearing down that wall. this is the republican and conservative respectable conservative firewall around information. and it's discouraging that they don't want to know and don't want to hear and a lot of it -- it's not ideological but the mainstream media they see there's a reason for it and it's protecting their agenda but with the conservative media it's -- most of it has to do with snobbery, you know, i hate to say it but that's part of it.
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[applause] >> i wish there were a better answer. but i can't figure one out. you know, i went to purdue. i didn't go to yale. i live in kansas city. i don't live in, you know, georgetown. so why bother? yes, sir. >> yes, i ran across a bumper sticker and if you think it's a good one, just google in january 20th, 2009, the beginning of an error. [laughter] >> i try to stay out of politics here so i'm not going to go into that. [laughter] ..@
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>> this is beyond dispute. barack obama's sr.'s back in hawaii. no one ever saw them date, no one went to the wedding. so barack obama sr. had nothing to do with the formation of young barry obama who did have a lot to do with the mother. i know there's a lot of talk about islam and what not, and he did have a stay in indonesia, but his stepfather was sort of a go as you please muslim, but his mother was a hard core secular humanist, and she just drove, drove, drove this into his head. and one occasion, it was a very telling occasion in dreams from my father, he talks about this. is that her husband works for an american oil company, he's an indonesian. and he says, hey, we're having a party, why tonight you come meet some of your people, and she shouts back at him, those are not my people.
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this is barack obama's mother. she's not a little girl from kansas. she was known as anarchist annie in her high school years at seattle where she left from, and then she went back to seattle immediately. so that was the primary formation. and that was reinforced by frank marshall davis, it was reinforced by bill ayers, deep, deep, secular humanism. and when he does have a come to jesus moment, it's at jeremiah wright's church which was a pure calculation. you know, it's christianity, but it's calculated christianity. he's not unique in that. i mean, bill clinton always walked with a bible on the camera side of his body, you know? [laughter] but obama's not that bad, but there's some calculation there. yes, sir. >> oh, i'm an engineer and, quite frankly, the whatever, i have no idea what you were talking about most of the time. [laughter] >> that's why you have to buy and read the book, you see? [laughter] [applause] >> but i did catch your
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interview on nra news -- >> uh-huh. >> and i was wanting your opinion of the, your whole experience with that. >> the whole experience with -- >> nra news. >> you know, i ran into them at cpac. he was a radio road there. it's fine. i mean, you're doing some truly weird -- you don't even know who you're talking to one moment from the next. they seemed fine and obliging and helpful and appropriate so, you know -- >> [inaudible] >> i get that feeling too. because they're going from 0 to 60. if they don't know anything about this at all, it sounds -- you know, i get e-mails from our own people, and they say, well, this sounds 'em probable. let's face it, if bill ayers was a neighborhood electrician and president obama needed his house rewired, he would have called bill ayerss. obama needs his book rewired, he calls bill ayers. >> you're in my world, i'm an electrical engineer. now i understand. [laughter]
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[applause] >> yeah, i thought i'd bring it@ home to you. i spent five years at purr dew. -- purdue. yes, sir. >> did bill ayers comment or say anything -- did you ask him? >> yes, i e-mailed him a couple of times without response. here's what he did, though, when christopher anderson's book came out in 2009, on two occasions -- unprompted -- he told people that he did write dreams for my father. however, he did it with a wink in his eye. and the mainstream media interpret that to be he was just teasing the writer. i think he was, yes, it was -- i thought it was a double tease. i think he was telling the truth and subverting it by making believe he's not telling the truth. i think the ultimate message went to the white house saying, be good. i got your number. because he's got a lot of power at this point. thanks a lot. good questions. thank you all for coming, appreciate it. [applause]
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>> jack cashill is the executive editor of conditioning ing brames ". visit his web site, cashill.com. >> well, there's a new online enterprise just starting up, and it's called the washington independent review of books. david stewart is the president of this organization. mr. stewart, what is your organization? >> well, it's a group of writers and editors and similarly-minded people in the, mostly in the d.c. area who are very dismayed by the shriveling of book review space in sort of the standard media. of a lot of book review sections have been folded, they've shrunk, and it's just harder to find information about what's going on in the world of books these days. coverage of the publishing industry has slunk. so -- shrunk. so we decided to try to do
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something ourselves. this is really sort of from the old judy garland/mickey rooney movies where they say let's put on a show. we decided, well, we would create our own book review. there's about 70 of us have been engaged in it, and we've just launched and had a great response. it's been a lot of fun and very gratifying. >> and, now, what kind of books will you be reviewing on this site? >> a wide range. we're going to really review nonfiction and fiction. we suspect for now we're not going to be looking at chirp's books, and we -- children's books, and we won't be looking at romance literature. but beyond that we're quite open. and we, we'll be reviewing recently-released books. we hope to get our reviews up within the first 30-45 days after publication. so you can come to us for current information about what are the new books out there. >> now, can people submit books
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to be reviewed as well? >> we'd rather not get the books, but they can certainly bring them to our attention because we'll have to the decide if we want to review them, and you can get a lot of books that way. that are hard to deal with. so we certainly invite people to e-mail us, bring their books to our attention, send us their publicity packets so we know in plenty of time that it's coming, and we can decide whether it's one we want to take a shot at reviewing. >> mr. stewart, you said that a lot of your reviewers and people involved in the washington independent review of books have backgrounds in writing and publishing. what's your background, and give us a snapshot of some of the people who will be participating. >> well, my background is i was a lawyer for many years, but i'm now an author, have done a couple of books on american history, one on writing the constitution, the summer of 1787, one on the impeachment
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trial of andrew johnson, "impeached," and i have a new one coming out this fall called "american emperor." the other folks involved come from journalism, there are book writers as well. we've been so lucky in recruiting reviewers. we've got for a book on the eichmann trial in israel we were able to get judge patricia walt who was on the war crimes tribunal for yugoslavia. we've been able to get a leading constitutional scholar to look at a first amendment book for us. it's, we've just had a terrific response from people. just as an example, pauline maier at mit who's got a wonderful book out about the ratification of the constitution is going to review a new book on the revolution by gordon wood. so we've really been able to get topnotch reviewers, and it's an
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exciting thing. and, you know, everybody in this operation works for the same amount of money -- nobody's paid, that includes our reviewers -- so it's just wonderful to see people willing to pitch in to create this conversation about the world of books which is really what we are all about. >> and there has been a decline in traditional media review of books, but online there is quite a active marketplace of reviewers. what do you bring to the table that's different? >> i think we're going to bring the depth and the quality of our reviewers. we also are doing features, we're going to have author interviews and q&as. we're doing, we have a couple of radio interviewer partners who will be putting up podcasts. so we'll provide a full range of information. and i think, you know, the other operations that are trying to do the same thing are doing the lord's work as well, and i certainly support what they're up to. but i think there's room for a
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lot of voices, and that's important recruiting a viewing books is that there are a lot -- reviewing books is that there are a lot of voices so you're not just stuck with one or two reactions to a new book which may be idiosyncratic in their reactions. >> will you be looking at politically-slanted books as well, and will you be looking at both books from the left and from the right and from the middle? >> of course. you know, we are, you know, predominantly with washington-area rir writers, we have a lot of interest in political and historical topic, and we'll take them all on from every point on the spectrum. >> and how often will you be putting up new material? >> we will have new content up every day, either a new interview or a new review. you know, in the early days we're trying not to set the bar too high for ourselves, but as time goes on we expect the
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content to become richer and richer and really looking forward to that. >> and, mr. stewart, you say on your web site that you got your seed money through the aiw freedom to write fund. what is that? >> well, it's associated with american independent writer withs which is a writers' organization here in the d.c. area. and the freedom to write fund is a 501(c)(3) that's affiliated with aiw. and we've done very modest fund raising and would need to do more, but enough to get i up and running -- guess us up and running, and it's been a great sponsorship. >> david stewart is the president of the washington independent review of books. washington independent review of books.com is the web site. >> you're watching 48 hours of nonfiction authors and books on c-span2's booktv. >> we're here with roger
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kimball, the publisher of encounter books, and can you tell us what's coming up for your company this year? >> we've got a lot of things coming up. a new initiative for u.s. in the last year and a half or so are brief, punchy pamphlets available in print and online, you can get them for your ipad, your kindle or other devices. they are 5, 6, 7,000 words about important issues of the day whether it's immigration, health care, national sovereignty, john bolton's done a great one for us on how the current administration is draining away national sovereignty and why this is a big problem. we have many really good books coming up, one new one is this title here by walter olson of the cato institute, schools for misrule. it will them you everything you should know about elite law schools and why you should be afraid of them.
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they are training america's future leaders, and it's a very dubious proposition, i think. we've got a bunch of great things coming up. our new york times bestseller last year was the grand jihad by andy mccarthy. just out is freedom at risk by james buckley, senator james buckley. we've got a bunch of great, great titles coming out, so stop by our web site, www.encounter.com and see what you're missing. >> one more thing, can you tell us a little bit about why you decided to start the pamphlet series? >> yes. i saw -- in 2008 in that election cycle the internet had become an essential part of the metabolism of political debate and blogs and so on were absolutely essential to the way in which the messages were getting out, the the people were getting educated. but they had a couple of liabilities, i thought.
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one was that they were very ephemeral. i wrote a blog myself for pa pajamas media, so i know you can get thousands of hits, thousands of comments and then 17 hours later it's gone. they've moved on to the next thing. so i wanted something that had the meet -- immediacy of a blog, of the internet but could be a step back. i thought of common sense or the federalist papers, for that matter, where you had people commenting in a very forthright way about matters of great public moment, things that were on everybody's mind whether these days, of course, it's things like health care, things like national sovereignty, it's things like the public sector unions. but to do so in such a way that you could intervene in the debate and not merely comment on it. and that's what we do. we try to marry authors and subjects in such a way that they can be with written very quickly. my idea is a weekend or
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